Not from work (although that would be lovely too), but this week I've taken a little time off from the daily grind of training. I decided that yesterday was my I-can-do-whatever-I-want day with NO guilty feelings allowed. I did not run that morning, skipped my lunchtime treadmill session and did not ride my bike when I got home from work. I plopped down on the couch and watched a sweet little movie I found on Netflix called "Arranged." Then I went and sat on the front porch and watched the sunset until Jason got home. At the end of the day, I really didn't feel guilty about it, and I am already feeling somewhat refreshed from the break.
The thing I forget about triathlons is that a lot of mental and physical energy goes into doing them. That seems like a given, I'm sure, but for a marathon runner, it doesn't always feel like it was hard on my body. After an Olympic distance tri, I may be a little tired and sun kissed, but I do not feel nearly as used up as I do after a marathon, or even a half marathon. But I have to remember, I spent over 3 hours swimming, cycling and running...and that is a long time. Despite how I may feel afterward, my body still needs time to recover.
But if the race was on Sunday, I usually pick up with my training as usual on Monday. And then I wonder why everything seems harder than usual. Whereas after a marathon, I usually allow myself rest and recovery before picking it all back up again.
Here is what my weekly schedule looks like so far, and I think you can see where my body said enough is enough.
Sunday - Music City Triathlon
Monday - Ran 4 quickies on the treadmill, short swim workout after work
Tuesday - Ran 6 morning miles, biked 18 after work
Wednesday - Ran 6 morning miles (tempo run), home after work to catch up on chores
Thursday - Nothing
Friday - Ran 6.3 morning miles - and felt pretty good
Saturday - Anywhere from 40-60 miles on the bike planned...
By Wednesday I was ready for a break. It hit me that I hadn't rested at all since the triathlon so I gave myself permission to do so. There is also the fact that while I am running in the mornings, working all day and swimming or cycling in the afternoons, life is still going on. There are clothes to be washed and folded (and quite a few with two of us doing two workouts a day). There are dishes to be washed and put away. There is tea to be made, flowers to be watered, groceries to be bought...
So I took Wednesday afternoon to do these things...and I had a blast. I put on my latest Maroon 5 tunes and rocked out while I cleaned and made dinner. And then Thursday I rested.
I could tell on this morning's run that I felt better. I had more energy and my knee was not as angry as it has been. That was a good sign that my body needed rest, and I'm glad I listened. I may designate one afternoon a week to chores, dancing in the kitchen, or cheesy movie watching - some non-training activity I enjoy. I think a little time off is a needed addition to my training plan.